Do you think you have a smart dog? Can they perform tricks on command, cuddle when you cry, or protect you from danger? All of these are marks of a smart pup and here are many more from a few doggo pros.

10. Solving a treat puzzle

Pet shops have dozens of puzzles for dogs. There’s nothing like a treat to motivate them. Robert Cabrel believes that smart dogs are fantastic problem solvers!

If you can give them a treat puzzle and if they solve it without help, their smarts are off the charts. You can even take a treat and hide it in the house to see if they find it.

It’s a fun game!

9. The dog initiates play with you

“Lots of dogs will play tug-of-war when you hold out the rope toy, but smart dogs will initiate games by communicating their desires to you”, Cabral says. Some dogs may bark and prance around but intelligent dogs bring you their toys and pats you on the leg. “The dog’s desire to work as a team shows me that her intelligence is ripe,” Cabral says.

“Remember, wisdom is only wisdom if it’s shared—and that’s true of dogs as well as humans.”

8. Dogs understand your emotions

Did you have a bad day? Or have an argument with a loved one? Dogs can smell your pheromones making them react to your emotions.

They’ll come over to you and cuddle with their eyes saying, “I got you. Everything will be okay.”

Photo Credit: Unsplash, Ryan Walton

7. Intelligent dogs learn tricks quickly

Does it take you dog days to learn a new trick or minutes?

Yvonne Brandenburg, a registered vet tech and founder of Internal Medicine For Pet Parents, says, “The faster your dog learns a new trick and the more commands he knows are sure signs of his intelligence.”

6. The doggo knows when he’s going to the vet

Whenever we tell my pup we’re going for a ride, he excitedly jumps into the car. But not one mile into the drive, after sniffing the air on route to the vet, he suddenly curls up into a ball on the seat. Truly upset.

“Recognizing locations and direction is a clear sign of animal intelligence,” Brandenburg says.

5. Dogs watch you for instruction

Whenever you walk the dog, especially on a new route, do you notice she looks back at you? She’s making sure she’s going the right way, per your instruction.

Jeff Franklin, a dog trainer who oversees  instruction of all elite canines assigned to the U.S. Military says, “A smart dog will not only follow direction but will look to you for cues for what to do.”

4. They learn things by observing

Can your dog open doors? Crazy, right? They know how by observing their owners.

Franklin adds, ““Dogs that can watch either humans or other dogs doing certain tasks, such as opening doors or gates, and learn from their example are certainly more trainable and may be smarter.”

3. They understand what a suitcase is

My dog hates when I travel. So much so, he curls up into my open suitcase. He hates change and knows he miss me.

This is a sign of a very observant pup. Not only that but my stress pheromones are probably coming off in waves, alerting him that I’m nervous. Smart doggo!

2. They bump your leg or hand to get your attention

Dogs know how to get your attention. A small bump on your leg or hand will tell you they want petted.

“All dogs love attention, and smart dogs know the best way to get it,” Katie Nitti, dog behavior expert and owner of Dog Walk NYC

1. Old commands never go away

Cabral says, “If I taught a dog to walk backward on command and haven’t done it with him in a year, if he’s smart, he will still remember how to do it when asked.”

These are some sophisticated doggos!

What can your dog do? Share in the comments.